Public Help Needed to Monitor Spread of Deadly Bat Disease

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  BC bats may be threatened by disease, and researchers are asking for the public's help in monitoring for the disease. White Nose Syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease responsible for the death of millions of bats in eastern North America, has moved to the west coast. Confirmed in Washington State in both 2016 and 2017, the presence of the fungus is very worrisome for the health of bat populations in British Columbia, with near 100% mortality for some species of bats exposed to the fungus. Although devastating for bats, WNS does not affect humans. The BC Community Bat Program in collaboration with the BC Government is requesting the public’s help in monitoring the spread of this disease. “We knew this deadly fungus was moving westward across North America,” says Mandy Kellner, Coordinator of the BC Community Bat Program, “but we thought we had many years to prepare.” Instead, the disease has suddenly appeared in the west, spurring BC researchers into action. Because so little is known about where BC bats hibernate, researchers want to hear from anyone who sees a bat flying during winter, which can be an early sign of the disease.  Another sign of the presence of WNS...
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Expanded HCTF and FESBC Partnership

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     Last September, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) announced that the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) had committed up to $1 million for wildlife conservation projects using HCTF’s grant application process. Following this announcement, HCTF received a record number of wildlife funding applications, requesting double the amount that has historically been available.    We are therefore thrilled to announce that FESBC has decided to double their investment for 2018-19 and commit up to $2 million dollars to wildlife conservation projects that meet both agencies’ wildlife enhancement objectives.   Applications submitted in November 2017 are currently being reviewed by HCTF technical committees to identify those that are technically sound, address important wildlife conservation issues, and have a high likelihood of success. A list of projects meeting these criteria will be provided to FESBC, who will then identify the projects they wish to invest in. Grants will be administered by HCTF, who will notify successful applicants by March of 2018.   “FESBC has chosen to invest through HCTF because of the rigorous way in which the organization evaluates funding proposals," said Steve Kozuki, Executive Director of FESBC.  "HCTF is unrivalled in their use of science to make decisions about which...
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One Month to Go til Go Grant Deadline

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Teachers - it's time to start planning spring field trips to get your students outside, learning in nature. HCTF can help with GO Grants . BC educators can apply for up to $600/class or $3500/school to pay for bus transportation, project materials, and leader/program fees for outdoor environmental learning experiences. Applications are due on February 15, 2018 for field trips taking place April 1st to June 30th, 2018.  Full grant criteria and a link to our online application system is available here . For more information, contact HCTF Education at 250-940-9786 or email   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    

Tunkwa Lake Watershed Project by Brian Chan

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There are a lot of great fishing lakes located in the Southern Interior region of BC. Ideal water chemistry, long, hot growing seasons and managed populations of stocked rainbow, brook trout and kokanee provide a diversity of angling experiences. A quick look at a map of the Merritt, Logan Lake and Kamloops area will reveal just how many small lake fisheries are waiting to be fished. One of the most popular groups of stillwaters is those found within the Tunkwa Lake watershed. They include Tunkwa, Leighton, Morgan and Six Mile lakes. Each year over 30,000 angler days are spent plying these waters in search of rainbow trout. Recreational fishing within this watershed has been a popular pastime for over 70 years. Tunkwa Lake Resort has been in operation for over the past 40 years and in 1996 Tunkwa and Leighton lakes were the cornerstones of the newly created Tunkwa Lake Provincial Park. The development of the recreational fisheries within the Tunkwa watershed was in large part the result of creek diversions and construction of dams on key lakes in an effort to store and supply water for downstream agricultural purposes. Some of the original irrigation works done by pioneering ranching...
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Local Conservation Funds in British Columbia

An updated version of "Local Conservation Funds in British Columbia" has been published an is available here .  The guide outlines key steps for local governments and NGOs looking to establish a dedicated source of funding for conservation in their communities. It includes case studies of regional districts that have been successful in establishing local conservation funds, including the Regional District of East Kootenay, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, and the Regional District of Central Okanagan. HCTF is proud to support the creation of this guide through grants to the South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program .